2 gang members plead guilty to 2021 murder
Two gang members have pleaded guilty in connection to a fatal shooting last year outside a Minneapolis convenience store.
Court records show 29-year-old Dantrell Deon Johnson and 26-year-old Gregory Dwayane Hamilton each pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree intentional murder in the death of 25-year-old Darryl Ramon Wells, Jr.
According to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, Johnson and Hamilton are scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 19 but, per the terms of their plea deals, are expected to each receive 35-year sentences.
In addition to Johnson and Hamilton, at least three others have been charged in connection to Wells’ death.
Court documents state Prince Martin, also known as Prince Hinton, was murdered outside Winner Gas Station in north Minneapolis on Aug. 7, 2021. Because he was a prominent member of the YNT/Taliban gang, Minneapolis police were worried about retaliatory shootings against opposition gangs.
Police said there were four suspected retaliatory shootings the next day, including one outside Skyline market in the city’s Harrison neighborhood.
A criminal complaint states several known gang members, including Hamilton and Johnson, were seen in the Winner Gas Station parking lot mourning Martin’s death. Just after 5:30 p.m., Johnson and Hamilton left in a minivan that was then seen doing a drive-by shooting outside a store about a mile away within 10 minutes of them leaving the memorial. Within minutes of the shooting, they then returned to the parking lot memorial outside Winner.
Then, just after 6 p.m., they and another known gang member, identified in court documents as William Ravon Johnson, left in a Dodge Charger. At 7:48 p.m., the Charger parked behind Wells’ vehicle as he was in Skyline market. Dantrell Johnson and Gregory Hamilton then went inside the store, the complaint states.
According to the documents, the two fired semi-automatic weapons at Wells as he ran out of the store and was then clipped by the driver’s door of a Porsche, which was driven by another gang member, identified in the documents as Keon Eligiah Pruitt. Wells, who the documents state had no known gang affiliation, then continued to run away while still being shot at and then collapsed near an alley.
The complaint states that the Porsche, which was stolen out of Minnetonka, then drove up to Wells, two juveniles got out and fired at Wells, then got back in the Porsche and fled. One of the juveniles, identified as Christopher Shawn-Michael Johnson, was certified as an adult and later pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder in Wells’ death. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 15.
Pruitt and William Johnson are both charged with first-degree murder and are currently scheduled to go on trial next year.
The court documents don’t offer any indication of why the group killed Wells.